Stories of Struggle and Success in Our Schools

We are parents, teachers, students and community members with stories to tell. We want to rise above the politics and news headlines and talk about what’s working and what needs to improve for Chicago’s kids.

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Chicago Board of Ed Will Post Agenda One Month in Advance, Translate Meetings into Spanish and Vote in Public

For years, Chicago parents and community groups have complained that the Chicago Board of Education makes decisions in secret, withholds information from the public and shuts out community participation and input. Today, the newly-appointed board, led by Miguel del Valle, announced a set of sweeping changes that will give communities more knowledge and possible input into policy. It’s a huge…

At Columbia Explorers, Mentoring Keeps Excellence Consistent

For Principal Eileen Considine, leading Columbia Explorers has been a chance to come full circle. The story starts all the way back in 1994, when she taught at nearby Shields Elementary with a colleague, Jose Barrera, who was working as the bilingual coordinator. The two educators forged a deep friendship and working partnership. In 2001, when Barrera opened the brand-new…

Principal Lindsey Robinson of CICS Avalon Wins Ryan Award for Closing Achievement Gaps

On Monday, Lindsey Robinson, K-4 Principal at Chicago International Charter School Avalon/South Shore, received the Accelerate Institute’s Ryan Award for exceptional school leadership. Robinson’s recognition comes with a $25,000 honorarium and the opportunity to share the secrets of her success with other school leaders. At CICS Avalon-South Shore, students have outperformed city and state averages on PARCC reading and math…

“We Keep Moving:” How Faraday Elementary Went from Probation to Top-Rated

Principal Tawana Williams knows how people in the East Garfield Park community used to perceive Faraday Elementary School.  “They felt that Faraday was the dumping school,” she said. “They thought, for a very long time, that this was a ‘bad’ school.” For many years, Faraday was on academic probation. The school struggled to deal with student fights and gang involvement.…

Time for A Deeper Look at Personalized Learning

Chalkbeat Chicago recently published this article on personalized learning in CPS. For folks who aren’t familiar with the topic, it was a good starting point. It gave a sense of the footprint personalized learning efforts have built in Chicago–about 100 of the district’s 600 schools are experimenting with it in some way–and noted the costs, challenges to conventional teaching practice…